Men's Basketball Upsets Southern New Hampshire, 75-71, in Home Opener


Links: Box Score  

NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. – Trailing by nine points with 6:03 to play, the Merrimack College men's basketball team earned a thrilling, 75-71, victory over the defending Northeast-10 Champions Southern New Hampshire University, on Wednesday night at Hammel Court.

The Basics
Merrimack 75 | Southern New Hampshire 71
Merrimack (3-0, 1-0) | SNHU (1-1, 0-1)
Bert Hammel Court | North Andover, Mass.

How It Happened

Southern New Hampshire brought a 33-21 advantage into the locker room after shooting 37.9 percent (10-28) from the floor in the first half, but that shooting went by the wayside in the second stanza, as the Warriors capitalized on 19 Southern New Hampshire turnovers and shot a red-hot 57.1 percent (16-28) from the field in the final 20 minutes to storm back in commanding fashion.

A back-and-forth first half saw Southern New Hampshire's lead grow to as much as eight with 15 minutes to play, but over the remainder of the opening stanza, both sides would combine for 22 field goals, as the Penmen headed to the locker room with a one-point lead (33-32) in hand.

Down 65-56 with 6:03 to play, baskets by sophomore Troy Hammel (Valencia, Calif.) and sophomore Anthony Barry (Uxbridge, Mass.) cut the gap to five. Southern NH then hit a free throw to up its lead to six before Solano had back to back steals and conversions to cut the gap to two.

With 3:02 to play, sophomore Gelvis Solano (New York, N.Y.) nailed down a 3-pointer and Merrimack had its first lead since midway through the first half. An old fashioned 3-pointer gave SNHU a two-point lead before Solano nailed down another 3-pointer to give Merrimack a 70-69 lead with 2:35 to play. Merrimack never lost the lead after that and finished the game on an 8-2 run.

The Warriors posted a 46.4 percent clip (26-56) on the evening while going just 8-16 (50.0) from long range. The Penmen were certainly hindered by their 33.3 percent mark from downtown and 38.8 percent (26-67) from the field.

Solano led the Navy and Gold with 30 points, just two points shy of his career-high of 32. Classmate Troy Hammel added 13 points and three rebounds, while senior Kevin Regan (Philadelphia, Pa.) chipped in with 10 points and seven rebounds. Barry led all players with nine rebounds, while sophomore JT Strickland (Laurel, Md.) posted a team-high seven assists.

A Closer Look

  • Merrimack opens the season at 3-0 for the second time in three years.
  • For the third straight game Merrimack College overcame a halftime deficit.  
  • The Penmen were led by Elijah Bonsignore, who posted a team-high 18 points and seven rebounds.
  • SNHU outshot the Warriors 30-20 in the paint, while posting a 13-4 edge in second chance shots.
  • Both teams's tallied six points off the bench.

Up Next
Next up, the Warriors travel to Easton, Mass. to face the Skyhawks of Stonehill College on Wednesday, Nov. 20th in a Northeast-10 showdown. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.


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